Boats at the Berkeley Marina in mid-October 2021. Credit: Kelly Sullivan

King Tides, which regularly occur around the solstices, are expected along the San Francisco Bay on Sunday through the following Saturday and may potentially cause minor flooding along low-lying coastal areas, including the Berkeley Marina. 

Water levels will be at their peak between Tuesday and Thursday and are forecast to rise above 7 feet, according to the National Weather Service. 

“We are expecting the highest of the high tides overnight,” said Drew Peterson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. However, he noted that the specific time ranges of the highest tides vary by day. Anyone interested in tracking local tide predictions can go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Tide and Currents page.

King Tides occur twice a year — in the winter and summer — when the sun, moon and earth are all in alignment, resulting in the maximum tidal forces of the year, according to the weather service. 

“(The) hazard is not particularly high,” Peterson said, explaining that most areas that will flood during King Tides likely already experience the impacts of coastal flooding. “People should just be aware that there may be areas where there’s water submerging trails.”

He added that because the Berkeley Marina experiences both the “highest high tides and lowest low tides,” he recommends that those planning to go boating should be aware of the King Tides and talk to their local harbormaster. 

“That’s important because with low tidal areas, some marina’s harbor entrances can be dangerous if you have a vessel that’s submerged below the water quite a bit,” Peterson said. “Some of those entrances and exits out of the harbors and marinas may be very shallow, and there may be rocks that boats can scrape the bottom of their boat.”
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Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...